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Campra, André


Composer of opera and church music who ranks with lully and couperin among the masters of the French baroque; b. Aix (Provence), Dec. 4, 1660; d. Versailles, June 29, 1744. His first post was music director at Toulon cathedral in 1680. After holding a number of similar positions, he was appointed maître de chapelle at Notre Dame in 1694. He resigned in 1700 to devote himself more exclusively to operatic composition, since his operas were fast becoming successful. Among his important church works are five books of motets (16951720), a Mass (1700), and two books of psalms (173738). Most of these settings have orchestral accompaniment, and he is credited with having introduced stringed instruments into the services at Notre Dame. His church style can be described as a mixture of declamatory French and florid Italian techniques. As a composer of operas he is justly considered the chief link between Lully and Rameau.

Bibliography: m. bartÉlemy, André Campra (Paris 1957). r. girardon, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume 10 v. (Kassel-Basel 1949) 2:730740. a. h. wodehouse et al., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (London 1954) 2:3639. j. r. anthony, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 3, ed. s. sadie 662666 (New York 1980). a. baker, The Church Music of André Campra (Ph.D. diss. University of Toronto, 1977). "The Church Music of André Campra: A Reconsideration of the Sources," Recherches sur la Musique française classique 22 (1984) 89130. j. boyer, "Nouveaux Documents sur la Jeunesse d'André Campra et la vie musicale à Aix-en-Provence au XVII e siècle," Recherches sur la Musique française classique 22 (1984) 7988. g. garden, "Les Amours de Vénus (1712) et le Second Livre de cantates (1714) de Campra," Revue de Musicologie 77 (1991) 96107. d. m. randel, ed. The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996) 13233. n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 289.

[w. c. holmes]

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